Saturday, 24 September 2016

A life in cameo....

I am a firm believer in showing appreciation for the people in my life that deserve it. In the past I have blogged about my friends and written open letters to them, in hopes that in some small way they can see the gratitude I have for them. It seems like such a small token of appreciation in comparison to the things I have put them through, and the things they have supported me with.  

So in line with this let me tell you about my soldier friend. 

He has been my friend for six years now, which in the grand scheme of life isn't majorly long, however a lot has happened in the past 6 years. It all started at college, he was one of three guys studying child care, I know right brave lads. poor guys didn't stand a chance. Nevertheless we hit it off and he became my best friend. To be quite honest we were inseparable. I don't think there was one day for that entire year where I didn't see him. I stayed at his, he stayed at mine, he rang me on his walk to and from work. On the outside people would say we looked like a couple. There was a point where I did want him more than a friend, however he made his feelings towards me very clear. He became my rock and I depended on him for pretty much everything. If I was feeling low he would play the guitar for hours over the phone and we would just chat. He was my rock. To be completely honest I leant on him far to much, it was way to much for any 18 year old boy to handle. It all came to a head when I was rushed into hospital following an overdose. My parents went to collect him form his house and I will never forget his face as I was wheeled through. He was angry, disappointed and hurt. We ended up having a fight outside the hospital, it wasn't pretty. From there he didn't talk to me for a while, I guess he just didn't know what to say. He had done everything he could to help me and I guess my overdose was a massive punch in the face, so i guess he felt like he could do no more. It was a rough couple of months of the silent treatment but we got through it. He then joined the army. When he first told me he was joining I was heart broken, I panicked and didn't know quite what to do, but he was excited and set on the idea, and of course with his determination he got in. 

A life in cameo.

I would love to say that once he joined the army we stayed in contact loads but we didn't, and in many ways I'm glad we didn't. We had the odd conversation but nothing major. I would hear about his adventures that the army took him on, and I would fill him in on my adventures. The army took him to Germany where he lived for three years. It wasn't until 2015 that we started talking on a more regular basis. I am so glad we got back in touch. Its nice to have him back in my life, although he has this ability to make me feel oh so very small but then in the next breath feel me with confidence. With one hand he takes away and with the other he gives. We often argue about me singing, you see he thinks I can sing and often tells me that I just need the self confidence to get up and sing behind the mic. I tell him every time that this will be something we shall never agree on. The biggest thing he does of recent is bully me for being 'hipster' which can I just clarify is complete rubbish. He even started a blog where he talks about my 'Hipster life'

A life in cameo most certainly changed him, and in a good way. He has done a lot of growing up and matured in many ways. Even in the way he deals with me, he has a lot more patience. His words are kinder and his knowledge is broader. The army has done him the world of good. His life in cameo is almost over and I am so excited for his next adventure, he has that determination that I saw in him five years ago before he started the army, and I know that what he's going for next he will ace. 

Despite the nagging of singing and the wind up of being hipster he is quite frankly one of the most genuine of guys and I have the pleasure of calling him my friend. My life is a lot better with him in it than without. Who else could I FaceTime for over 7 hours, or talk to on the phone while he drives across the country. He makes me laugh and he always, always gives me sound honest advice. He isn't afraid to tell me what I don't want to hear and I know he has my best interests at heart. He has helped me through some of the darkest times in my life and he is still standing by side telling me when I'm being a complete idiot. I will forever be grateful for his friendship, and I hope he is still around in 6 more years.  

He is the type of guy that gives the beggar on the street the time of day and discovers that he used to be a vet. There is no one else I know that would have even give that guy a chance let alone hear his story. 

Babe's it is always a pleasure. I love you princess. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Click....

The click...

This year I decided it was time to venture into the dating scene. Flip me I felt like an alien who had just landed on earth. So much to learn. It's funny because when people used to talk about the dating 'world' I often did an internal giggle, as if to say well it can't be that bad. Oh how I was wrong. The dating world is a weird and wonderful place full of both incredibly simple and severely complicated individuals. It is a complete train wreck of people and does a successful job of messing with ones brain. 

So I've been 'dating' for only about 4 months now, and it took me a while to even have the balls to go on a date with a guy. However now I have been on a few my friends are pretty sick of me talking about them. I think they are also sick of me getting messed around. But the thing that annoys them the most is when I come off a date and they ask how it went and I say, well we just didn't click. They all sigh and roll their eyes and say well you need to see them again! Give them another chance! 
No. You may disagree but I'm a firm believer that if you just don't 'click' on the first date what's the point in the second. Now by click I don't meant fireworks and passion and I want to marry this guy, I mean conversation that flows, laughter and the wanting to get to know them more. You know it's been a good date if once it's over there is a part of you that wants to see that person again, and get to know more. Now I'm no dating guru but I know if I get on with a guy or not. 

The one thing about the dating world is just how much it makes you look at yourself. You start to think gosh can I be a girlfriend and all of a sudden you realise just how strange you are... well I do anyway. I am so strange! My friends call me unique and special bla bla but basically they just don't even know how to describe me anymore. I don't know my left from right. I can't say the word cinnamon, or spaghetti, or millionaire. I trip over nothing, my geography is appalling and I say the first thing that comes into my head. The flip side of dating is not only do you look at yourself more but others look at you more! (kind of how it works) and sometimes it feels like you are under a microscope. I have been called fat, ugly, obese, wonky, too nice, to caring, up tight, crazy.... (it hasn't all been bad I've had some nice things too) and sometimes you are left feeling updatable, unlovable and an alien to the world. 

I have come off dates and second dates and thought, what did I do wrong? What do I need to change? In fact every time it doesn't go well I question myself. The biggest one is am I too 'nice'!? Well what bullshit. I mean I'm no angel but I will give people a chance and I ware my heart on my sleeve. I've tried playing hard to get and be a bitch and yeah it does work to a degree but it's not me. I refuse to let my heart become hard because guys claim they don't want nice girls. I'm hoping that even though I feel like a doormat that it will pay off. 

I'm not looking for a fairytale I'm just hoping there is someone equally as messed up as me. Someone who's crazy matches mine. I don't want perfect I just want honest. Dating is complicated and messy but we have all been there.

I am a John Watson in a world full of Sherlock's.

So the click. Do you agree? Or disagree? 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

When Rock Met Bottom.

You know the thing about hitting rock bottom is that you start to look at things in perspective. My life isn't bad, however there was a time when I thought it just wasn't worth living anymore. I felt like I had almost nothing to hold on to. I didn't have my health, my job, my independence, my family's health was bad and although my friends loved me I couldn't bare putting anymore of my drama filled life on them, especially my best friend. He had come with me to all my hospital appointments, checked on me when I had been ill, caught me when I passed out, held my hand when I had been in pain and hugged me when I cried.

There was this one day in particular. We had, had to drive to Epping so I could go to another hospital appointment, this one was a brain MRI, he sat with me while I bounced my leg with nerves and comforted me, he literally caught me as I passed out, out the front of the hospital, he drove and he was the calm in the storm, it had already been a Laura 'drama' filled day and it wasn't even lunch time yet. We talked in the car on the way home, I tried to tell him how much I appreciated all he had done and I apologised. He told me I didn't need to apologise, it wasn't my fault, he always said the right thing. Once we got home I had to chill after passing out, we sat on the sofa watching Bridget Jones because that's what I wanted to watch. Then the phone rang. I answered, it was my Mum. I remember the words my mum saying feeling like punches to the face. Mum had been diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know what to say or do. The conversation was short, I remember looking at him and thinking fuck. He was watching Bridget and I said "that was my mum, she's got cancer". I remember waiting for him to respond but he didn't, he didn't hear me he was too engrossed with Bridget, I warned him that would happen. He turned and looked at me and said sorry what did you say, "mums got cancer" I repeated, he just grabbed me and I cried. He hugged me and stroked my shoulder and didn't let go. I sat there and cried for over an hour, I cried until I fell asleep. He just sat and hugged me until Bridget Jones 2 finished, we started on number 1. The thing about that day is it was in the middle of summer it was so warm. So cuddling with anyone is not what you wanted to be doing, and when you cry you get all hot and blotchy and I wasn't crying I was sobbing, that silent cry that comes from deep within. And then I slept. He let me sleep, he knew I didn't sleep and even though he was sat there sweating he let me sleep and continued to hug me. He sat and let my cry into his t-shirt while he watched the chick flicks I wanted to watch. I tried to apologise but he just said it was all okay.

What he doesn't know about that day is that if it wasn't for him I would have given up that night. It was the straw that broke the camels back. I was heart broken. It's weird because even though we had spoken about cancer before, it had never been confirmed. No one prepares you for it. I'm grateful it wasn't serious! Skin cancer, just on the nose. I think it's just the words. No one prepares you for those words.

It truly felt like my whole world was falling apart we had just found out that my dads heart wasn't getting any better and the words heart failure where put on paper and it scared me and my mum. It felt as though anything I tried to hold onto crumbled, sleep, food, my health, driving, work, money, family. It felt like everything I attempted to hold onto broke or was taken away. There's this joke that I'm an independent black woman, and even though I have always struggled with various things and lent on my friends it's because I knew I could, it felt like a choice. Now I had too. I didn't have a choice, and if I'm honest I couldn't handle it. I didn't want to be the patient, I had to eat a whole load of humble pie. Passing out in social situations filled me with terror and shame. Not being able to drive frustrated me and made me feel incompetent. Not being able to sleep, well it drove me crazy. The one thing I did to make the whole thing worse was try and 'control' my eating. I thought I was in control, my best friend he knew I wasn't, he knows I'm not. But he still looks me in the eyes after I've said I need a wee after a meal and I can see it. I can see the frustration, the hurt and the love.
When people ask me why I did it, I say I'm not sure, I think it was a mixture of things that lead me to fight for my life in intensive care. Yes that is true, I felt like I was going through hell. But if I had to really think about it, it was because I knew my friends were getting wise to my habits and it hurt them. I didn't want to lie to them, ever. For me honesty is the most valuable trait, yet I was a living lie. Hypocrite. I also couldn't bare my friends watch me deteriorate. I honestly believed that it would be better for everybody if I was dead.
So I sat in my room and I popped all the pills. I wanted to die, I was tired and fed up and I felt like I had been engulfed by a black cloud that wasn't going away. Two of my bested friends came to my house and saved my life. They knew immediately that something was wrong. My best friend drove me to hospital like a mad man and if I'm honest I don't remember the 24 hours that followed. I remember bits and bobs, I remember opening my eyes at different times and seeing my closest friends with their head in their hands. My parents heart broken. My best friend was sat with his arms on the side of my bed his head down his hands in front of him and I've never seen him so, so, hurt. My life long best friend sitting opposite him showing her strength keeping it together, I remember freaking out as she stood above me and shouting that she wasn't her. She had to leave. My other friend putting on a brave face but I knew just by looking at her that she wasn't sleeping and was worried sick, they all were. I woke up in intensive care attached to ever machine going oxygen tubes up my nose, drips, heart monitors, catheter. I felt like I was in a an episode of greys anatomy. I remember thinking, how, why am I alive. Why are my friends here, I don't deserve them, they don't deserve this. I was in the ICU for three days. And so were my best friends, they didn't really leave the hospital for the three days. During the visiting hours I was never alone and I between them, they were either in the waiting room or bobbing out for food.
On my second day a nurse said to me that I was very lucky, she said I see a lot of people come through the ICU but I don't often see someone with as many visitors like you, you are clearly very loved. You would think this is where I say that my life was changed, that my eyes were opened, However that first night where I could think again I lay there in agony, it hurt so much it hurt to move, to breath. I was sat there crying, sobbing wishing I had died. I didn't want to live, so why on earth was I still alive. I remember thinking about my friends and having to grab one of those weird kidney bean shaped sick bowls as I was convinced I was going to throw up. The nurse cam and Injected me with anti sickness, but I knew there was nothing that could take this feeling away. I couldn't sleep and for the whole three days and I ate nothing other than two cubes of Galaxy.
I can say now a month later that my eyes have been opened, my friends love me and life will get better. It's not easy and there are still days that I wish I had died, but I'm hoping over time and with the right support that thought will diminish. Suicide is not the answer. I thought I was doing my friends a favour but as they have told me, if I had died it wouldn't have helped any of them, it would have broke them. Each of them in their own way has given me an I love you and I'm so glad you are alive speech. I tell them I love them everyday, and I always ask what did I do to deserve them. Their answer is always the same, just by being you.
It hasn't been all hunky dory, I have lost people, people that I never wanted to lose. My family, well we will never be the same. It's messy and it's hard. So to those of you that love someone with a mental illness, don't give up. We need you. We need you to be honest with us, even when it's hard, and it will be. We need your love, encouragement, reminders and most of all your patience. It is not easy loving us but I believe it is one of the most honourable things you can do. To love someone who doesn't love themselves is heart breaking. But it can also be incredibly rewarding. Just make sure to look after yourself. you can't pour from an empty cup.
A note to my friends,
The four of you show me everyday that you love me. I hate what I put you through and I struggle everyday to live with what I did. Thank you for being patient with me, thank you for reminding me the smallest of things, and most of all thank you for not giving up on me. I ow you my life. You know I would do anything for each of you, and you have shown just how much you are Willing to do for me. I am truly truly blessed. I hope to do you proud. I love you.

"You have been my friend ...That in itself is a tremendous thing." - E.B. White

Friday, 9 September 2016


So I became one of those people that so desperately wanted to get out of her home town in hopes that she could somehow fix what was going on in her head, as if the place was somehow to blame. It's crazy what we convince ourselves will help when we are in a bad place. Although it didn't 'fix' anything, it did help.

While I was there we visited a hazelnut farm and this is where I met the most amazing woman, who for some unknown reason just spoke to me so deeply I couldn't ignore it. The crazy thing is we couldn't even communicate properly due to the language barrier, but her face told a thousand stories. I did manage to  find out a little about her, the year she spent in England, when she got married, had children and how she couldn't be away from Italy. Her lifestyle is remarkable, to live is to live off the land. Chickens, pigs, vegetables, chillies and most of all Hazelnuts. The hazelnut farm was eye opening. I defiantly have a new found level of appreciation of Nutella.

Collected and sorted. 
It is amazing how when you just take a moment to look, and I mean really look you can learn so much. Everything about this woman showed me the things that I want in life.

Firstly she made me realise that I do actually want a family one day.  For the past couple years I had convinced myself that I didn't want children. I didn't want to bring anyone into this world who could in anyway turn out to be like me, struggle with what I struggle with or have some of my traits. I didn't want to bring another life into this world, only for them to wish it away. But this was changed. I want a family, children I can mother, and be proud of, to help them not be like me but to love them with the love I know I am capable of. I want to watch them fall in love, have children and be proud to call me mum. Italians have a way of family that I wish England had, a true sense of belonging.

The other biggest impact this woman had on me, was the desire I had to grow old gracefully. Maybe it was the over worked hands, the silver hair, or the wrinkles that she so effortlessly wore. very rarely do you see an elderly woman in England so natural, so untouched. It was pure beauty in my eyes. I hope that one day my body can tell a story to someone someday.

Pure Beauty.
Italy was not easy, there were days when I was physically and emotionally eghaussted, however it was a well needed rest, and some good tim away. It does help in some weird way to leave a place that you live and see parts of the world, and meet new people. I am thankful for the week away and the moments of joy that came with it. I am truly blessed.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

The Rainbow

When the clouds are grey and its been raining, and you can't see the sunshine. That is when you see the most beautiful of rainbows. It has always amazed me that after the darkest of storms appears one of the worlds most beautiful of offerings.

A rainbow can mean a thousands different things to a thousand different people. For me a rainbow reminds me of the promise in the Bible, I'm not sure where i would say i am at with my faith but there are somethings that will for ever and always stay with me. For those of you that don't know a rainbow in the Bible is a sign from God that he would never flood the world again after the whole Noah and the ark situation. Rainbow = God keeps his promises. this has been extended further to God keeps all his promises.

For me a rainbow marks hope. Call me cliche, however there are worse things in the world to hold onto. I wish I could say I always hold onto hope, but I don't. In fact I often feel hopeless. But I will say this, sometimes it takes the smallest of things in life to remind you that there is in fact hope, a kind word, a hug from a friend, a smile from a stranger or a rainbow in the sky. All I have to do is keep my head up and my eyes open,


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